Dr. Fauci Says Wait to Get Your Booster Shot If You've Done This

This is the one reason to hold off on getting an additional dose of the COVID vaccine.

The Omicron variant has led to a staggering rise in COVID cases, reinfections, and breakthrough cases among those already vaccinated. As a result, health experts have continued encouraging booster shots, which are available to vaccinated people who are at least six months out from their second Moderna or Pfizer shot or two months out from their Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All three vaccine manufacturers have said that their additional dose provides high levels of protection against the new iteration of COVID, with various research showing that boosters can increase protection against Omicron anywhere from 25- to 37-fold compared to just one or two doses. With that in mind, you should not be waiting to get your booster shot—unless you fall into one specific category.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says This Is When the Omicron Wave Will Peak.

During a Jan. 3 interview on the PIX11 Morning News program in New York, top White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, said vaccinated individuals eligible for a booster shot who have not yet received it should wait to do so if they have just had COVID. According to Fauci, there is "no definitive time" to wait between your infection and your additional dose, but it should be anywhere between 30 and 90 days.

Other experts warn that you should at least wait until your coronavirus symptoms have resolved and you also meet criteria to end isolation. According to the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone who tests positive for COVID can now leave isolation after five days if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving and they have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.

In a Nov. 24 press release, Angela Branche, MD, an associate professor of infectious diseases and co-director of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said that vaccinated individuals infected with COVID would "likely not require a booster for three to six months after they have recovered, though it would be safe to obtain a booster dose as early as two weeks after full resolution of symptoms."

This is because "vaccinated individuals who recover from a breakthrough infection are expected to have high levels of circulating antibodies that are likely to be broadly protective for several months," Branche noted.

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On the other hand, getting your booster shot if you are eligible and have not recently gotten infected with COVID is important to keep you from getting infected. According to Fauci, millions of vaccinated people are more at risk for breakthrough infections because they have not yet been boosted. The CDC reported that only 33 percent of those fully vaccinated have gotten their additional shot already.

And cases are rising to new heights, as the U.S. is averaging close to 400,000 infections per day, Fauci told Pix11. The infectious disease expert also warned that we're going to be seeing a worse spike in COVID infections due to the Omicron variant over the next couple of weeks, as he expects cases to "continue to go up at least a few hundred thousand per day more."

"What we hope will happen is what we've seen in South Africa, and that is you reach a point where you peak and turn around and the cases come down rather quickly," Fauci said.

To achieve this, the White House adviser warned that getting unvaccinated people vaccinated and getting eligible vaccinated people boosted over the next couple weeks will be of the utmost importance. "We know now that the boosters reconstitutes that diminished immune protection that you get," Fauci explained. He added, "If you want to be optimally protected, you need to be boosted."

RELATED: If You Don't Have a Booster, You'll Be Barred From This, as of Jan. 17.

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